Poor little much maligned tofu. I have slowly but surely made Brussels sprouts a part of our lives, but I am still waging the tofu wars with my family. The only place they seem ok with finding tofu is in tiny cubes floating in a bowl of miso soup. Otherwise, tofu is non grata persona at the table.
So I made this, and ate the entire thing myself in 2 days. The flavors of Korean cooking are front and center, and as delightful as ever. Gochujang chile paste, sesame, mirin, garlic, this is one of the most vibrant glazey dressings I have had in a while. An amazing balance of spicy and sweet and savory.
Korean Tofu Salad: The flavors of Korean cooking are front and center in this recipe. It’s an amazing balance of spicy and sweet and savory.Tweet This
This recipe is an adaptation of one from a very appealing book called Korean Food Made Simple by Judy Joo (Joo has a Cooking Channel Show by the same name). It’s vegetarian, and if you don’t count honey, it is even vegan.
This is a main dish salad in that is has quite a bit of protein from the tofu, but if you want you can divide it amongst 4 plates and serve it as a first course or a side. Or you can be like me and eat the whole thing over two days.
Roasting Sesame Seeds
To roast sesame seeds place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir and toss for a few minutes, watching carefully, until they start to smell fragrant and turn light brown. Watch carefully that they don’t burn.
Gochujang is a Korean hot pepper paste that consists of red chili pepper, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt.
Other Korean Recipes:
- Spicy Greens with Gochujang Dressing
- Watermelon Kimchi
- Sesame Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms
- Korean Pork Chops
- Korean-Style Grilled Short Ribs
Korean Tofu Salad
- 14 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu drained
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon gochujang Korean chile paste; see Note
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 2 scallions thinly sliced on an angle
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds see recipe intro
- Kosher salt to taste
- 8 cups mixed greens such as baby spinach and baby romaine
- Place the tofu on a flat plate, and place another flat plate on the top. Place a heavy weight, like a large can of tomatoes, on the top plate and let the tofu sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes until some of the liquid has been pressed out onto the bottom plate. Drain off the liquid. Slice the tofu crosswise, then sliced each rectangular block into 12 slices in the other direction, so you have 24 square-ish pieces in all.
- While the tofu is being pressed, in a small bowl, stir together the mirin, gochujang (chile paste), honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil until blended. Stir in the scallions, garlic, and sesame seeds and set the dressing aside.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Working in batches, if needed, gently slide the tofu into the skillet and fry until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Lightly season with salt.
- In a large bowl, combine the greens with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Divide the salad among four plates and top each with 6 slices of tofu. Spoon additional dressing over the tofu. Serve immediately.
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